Sunday, May 08, 2011

150 years ago...

The South had declared full insurrection and William Tecumseh Sherman had turned down a job at the War Department, and also turned down a short-term commission to lead a Union regiment after the bombardment of Ft. Sumpter led to Lincoln calling for 75,000 short-term volunteers to put down the rebellion against the duly constituted government of the United States of America. From all appearances Sherman seemed to be settling down to run a streetcar company in Missouri. But the unsettled nature of things, and his continued concern about the fact that Lincoln's administration seemed to not understand that this was going to be a long and bloody war requiring people who were willing to do things that maybe weren't so nice, led him to change his mind. On May 8, 1861, Sherman dispatched a letter to Washington saying he was ready to serve in a position commensurate to his last rank in the military but for three *years*, not for some bogus three *months* because the war would take a minimum of three years to win (it actually took four). On May 14 his offer was accepted and he was placed in charge of a new regiment, the 13th Infantry, which was then in the process of being formed.

No Southern homes or businesses had been burned yet. I am eagerly awaiting the time, three years from now, when I can 150-year-live-blog Sherman burning Atlanta then slashing and burning his way to the sea, gutting the heart of the treasonous Confederacy and doing more than anybody else to cause its collapse.

-- Badtux the History Penguin


  1. The brilliant Sherman struck at the heart of Southern capitalism: Destruction of property.

  2. ... but a lot of people from Atlanta are no longer even remotely in rebellion, and many of them (Stella, for instance, and of course Fallenmonk) do not deserve what their ancestors brought on themselves.

    Write what you must. But do remember that many people... certainly not all, but many... have changed since those awful days.

  3. I'm talking 150 years ago, Steve, not today. Atlanta proper and its suburb Athens have redeemed themselves by the power of R.E.M. and the Drive By Truckers, so if we manage to exhume ole WT Sherman and turn him loose today, we'll remind him to bypass Atlanta and just scorch the rest of Georgia :).

    - Badtux the Music Penguin


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